Harrick PlasmaNews & ResearchResearchCovid-19 Research

The fight against the Covid-19 pandemic has required unprecedented efforts by the research community to understand, diagnose, and treat the Sars-Cov-2 virus. Harrick Plasma is proud to have its plasma cleaners involved in this groundbreaking research. Below are two examples of how plasma treatment has been used to bolster research efforts globally.

Cryo-EM Inhibiting the Spike Protein

By employing Cryo-EM to study SARS-CoV-2 (Covid-19), researchers have identified multiple inhibitory agents of the spike protein, with the potential to provide protection against the deadly disease. Cryo-EM is a burgeoning microscopy technique used to study complex biological structures, including macromolecule interactions, at the atomic level. Since the beginning of the pandemic, researchers have been mapping the virus spike and angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) binding sites to determine the structural basis of recognition. Using this information, they have been able to identify several potential inhibitors, including human monoclonal antibodies (mAbs), single domain antibodies (nanobodies), and nanoparticles.

Harrick Plasma cleaners are frequently used in conjunction with Cryo-EM for sample preparation. Plasma treatment modifies the surface of carbon-coated 200-mesh copper grids used in Cryo-EM to improve surface wettability. Spike protein samples are then evenly distributed prior to flash freezing and analysis, resulting in improved resolution.

Cryo-EM & Covid-19 Articles

Dejnirattisai W, Zhou D, Ginn H, Duyvesteyn H, et al. “The antigenic anatomy of SARS-CoV-2 receptor binding domain”. Cell 2021 10.1016/j.cell.2021.02.032

Huang K.Y.A., Zhou D, Tan T.K., Chen C, et al. “Structures and therapeutic potential of anti-RBD human monoclonal antibodies against SARS-CoV-2”, Theranostics 2022 12:1-17. 10.7150%2Fthno.65563

Huo J., Mikolajek H., Le Bas A. et al. “A potent SARS-CoV-2 neutralising nanobody shows therapeutic efficacy in the Syrian golden hamster model of COVID-19”, Nat Communications 2021 12: 5469. 10.1038/s41467-021-25480-z

Liu C, Zhou D, Nutalai R, Duyvesteyn H. M, et al. “The antibody response to SARS-CoV-2 Beta underscores the antigenic distance to other variants”, Cell Host & Microbe 2022 30: 53-68. 10.1016/j.chom.2021.11.013

Tan T.K., Rijal P., Rahikainen R. et al. “A COVID-19 vaccine candidate using SpyCatcher multimerization of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein receptor-binding domain induces potent neutralising antibody responses”, Nat Communications 2021 12: 542. 10.1038/s41467-020-20654-7

PDMS Devices: Modeling & Detection of Covid-19

To combat the Covid-19 pandemic, researchers worked quickly to develop novel devices for virus modeling and detection. Poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS) is an attractive material for rapid prototyping because it is inexpensive, biologically inert, and provides precise, nanoscale features. The following devices were constructed using Harrick Plasma cleaners:

  • CovidArray: Detection of Sars-Cov-2 in Nasopharyngeal Swabs [Damin]
  • Alveolus-on-a-Chip: SARS-CoV-2 Infection Recapitulation [Cao et al]
  • PDMS Wells: Cell Culture, Infection, and Inhibition [Kreutzberger et al]
  • Handheld Microfluidic Self‐Testing of SARS‐CoV‐2 [Xu et al]

Plasma treatment is extensively used to facilitate PDMS bonding to fabricate microfluidic devices and microarrays. Plasma activates PDMS and glass surfaces by adding polar hydroxyl groups (-OH), rendering the surfaces hydrophilic. When plasma modified surfaces are placed in contact, silanol groups react to form siloxane bridges (Si-O-Si), providing a water-tight seal.

PDMS Devices in Covid-19 Research Articles

Cao T, Shao C, Yu X, Xie R, Yang C, Sun Y, Yang S, He W, Xu Y, Fan Q, and Ye F. “Biomimetic Alveolus-on-a-Chip for SARS-CoV-2 Infection Recapitulation”, Research 2022 9819154 10.34133/2022/9819154

Damin F, Galbiati S, Gagliardi S, Cereda C, Dragoni F, et al. “CovidArray: A microarray-based assay with high sensitivity for the detection of Sars-Cov-2 in nasopharyngeal swabs”, Sensors 2021 10.3390/s21072490

Kreutzberger A, Sanyal A, Ojha R, Pyle J. et al. “Synergistic inhibition of two host factors that facilitate entry of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2”, Journal of Virology 2021 95:21. 10.1128/JVI.00975-21

Xu J, Suo W, Goulev Y, Sun L, Kerr L, Paulsson J, et al.” Handheld Microfluidic Filtration Platform Enables Rapid, Low‐Cost, and Robust Self‐Testing of SARS‐CoV‐2 Virus“, Small 2021 10.1002/smll.202104009

Harrick Plasma is a leading supplier of plasma equipment to the research community. We have been providing quality tabletop plasma devices specifically designed for laboratory and R&D use for over 30 years.